Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement endorsing PM Modi for another term as India’s Prime Minister might be Congress Party’s ploy against PM Modi.
Imran Khan’s statement on PM Modi could be Congress’ ploy: Sitharaman
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) April 17, 2019
I don’t know why such statements are being made. Every time such statements are being made and this is individually my perception and not my party’s or the government’s take. There have been eminent Congress leaders who’ve gone there to seek help and said ‘Modi hatane ke liye madad karo’. I wonder if this is also part of a scheme of things which have been put forth by the Congress’ side,” Sitharaman was quoted as saying by ANI news agency.
During an interaction with foreign journalists in Islamabad, Imran Khan had, last week, said he believes there may be a better chance of peace talks with India and settling the Kashmir issue if Modi’s party BJP wins the general elections. Khan had also said if the next Indian government was led by the opposition Congress party, it might be too scared to seek a settlement with Pakistan over Kashmir.
Imran Khan’s statement was maliciously used by Congress to call out PM Modi saying that a vote for Modi is a vote for Pakistan. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala in a tweet said, “Pakistan has officially allied with Modi.”
Pak has officially allied with Modi!
‘A vote for Modi is a vote for Pakistan’, says Pak PM Imran Khan
मोदीजी, पहले नवाज़ शरीफ़ से प्यार और अब ईमरान खान आपका चहेता यार!
ढोल की पोल खुल गयी है।
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) April 10, 2019
Moreover, this statement coming from Pakistan, where ministers were seen openly mirroring the statements made by Congress and Rahul Gandhi after the Balakot airstrikes, also raised suspicions as it was immediately picked up by opposition leaders in India to attack PM Modi.
In fact, Nirmala Sitharaman in a statement in January 2019 had made similar allegations. She had accused Congress leaders of playing dirty politics by seeking help from Pakistan to remove PM Modi’s government.
Nirmala Sitharaman statements targetting the Congress party was an apparent reference to senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who had called for the support of Pakistan to not only remove the current government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but also to help Congress come to power. This is not surprising since earlier, Congress had even promoted a ‘Modi hatao, Desh bachao’ Facebook advertisement in Pakistan. They had, in fact, shared fake images of Modi and also ran ads in Pakistan and Bangladesh through a pro-Congress Facebook page.
Moreover, Congress rhetoric at home has always had eerie similarities to Pakistan’s rhetorics. Pakistani trolls had tried to shield and promote Rahul Gandhi fervently on Twitter. One can also recall how Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu had gone to Pakistan for Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony and hugged the Pakistan army chief undermining the sacrifices of thousands of soldiers who are butchered by Pakistan. He had then asserted that he rather visit Pakistan than South India. In fact, global terrorist Hafiz Saeed had also endorsed Congress’ “vision” of Kashmir.
In fact, Congress’ soft approach towards Pakistan is not new. Recently, following the Pulwama terror attack which claimed lives of over 40 soldiers, echoing Pakistan’s words, Congress referred to the terrorist as ‘home-grown so-called terrorist’. This, when Jaish-e-Mohammad, a terror organisation nourishing and flourishing on Pakistan’s soil has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, too, gave a clean chit to Pakistan by saying that ‘terrorism has no country‘. In fact, Congress supporters are so keen to absolve Pakistan of the responsibility that they are even floating theories that Pulwama terror attack was an inside job carried out on behest of PM Modi (with help of Jaish-e-Mohammad, the very terror organisation which wants him dead).
Congress party’s politicking of the airstrikes was utilised by the hostile Pakistani establishment to propagate a narrative pertaining to the authenticity of the strikes.
It is also notable that earlier, the despiteful and bogus statements made in the Congress-led opposition party meet were cited by Pakistani channels to further their agenda.
And now, in the latest, a Pakistan media outlet, Radio Pakistan has yet again picked up a spiteful statement by Congress’ Navjot Singh Sidhu, trying to polarise votes in India.
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) April 16, 2019
Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has a special fondness for Pakistan, indulged in communal politics after he asked Muslims to unite and vote for the Congress party to remove Modi and the BJP. While speaking at a rally in Katihar, Bihar, Navjot Singh Sidhu stirred a massive controversy after he sought votes for Congress party candidate Tariq Anwar on the religious lines. Navjot Singh Sidhu said that the Muslims must come together and destroy the BJP with their solidarity.
This statement has been enthusiastically endorsed by Pakistan, who has often turned this Congress’ predisposition to their benefit and used comments of such political leaders to berate India.